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City v Poly – Why do Collegians pick The Castle On the Hill over The Other School?

Every  fall, incoming high school students from across Baltimore City make the difficult decision: Baltimore City College or Baltimore Polytechnic Institute? From the rigorous IB program to the champion winning athletics, many students felt that City provides for their needs and interests. 

A senior at Baltimore City College, colloquially known as City,  said “students who went to City spoke passionately about the success of debate teams and the interesting class offerings such as Anthropology and Speech.” 

She made this observation during a discussion session with both City and Poly students, remembering the enthusiasm the City students had about the IB program. She liked that City was less STEM-focused and more focused on the IB global perspective of how to think rather than what to think. 

City’s extensive  history is a big pull for legacy students looking to continue their own familial legacy. From City’s inception in 1839, generations have walked through the same halls. “I chose City because all my family has gone here and loved it. That made me want to go here and follow in their footsteps” a freshman said. 

City’s frequent socratic seminar based discussions allow students the opportunity to discuss and share ideas while interacting with classwork, creating a better understanding of assignments. A freshman discussed her own experience when shadowing City. “I came to shadow at City and in the English class the teacher made an effort to make sure the students understood the material that was being taught through class discussions.” 

Baltimore City College and Baltimore Polytechnic Institute have been competing for the same academically gifted students for generations, making it one of the country’s oldest high school rivalries.  From alumni stopping students on the streets to the screaming crowd at the annual rivalry game, the City spirit is felt far and wide. Although many students value different things when applying to high school, the same sentiment can be found throughout the City; “City pushes me to be the best I can be.”

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